A Parisian soirée on the Bellarine

Corinne Andrew and Milko Foucault-Larche present Paris After Dark. (Supplied)

Matt Hewson

When Milko Foucault-Larche’s parents offered him a ticket to accompany them to a French operetta in his homeland of Mauritius, the then teenager was not thrilled.

But little did he know it would set the course of his life from then on.

“At 13, 14, it’s not the kind of thing that you really look forward to, but okay, you go and see an operetta with mum and dad,” he said.

“But it sort of blew my mind a bit, and I thought ‘that’s what I want to do’. Then I got interested in music, and from then on it started.

“I did my first season when I was 18 with a French theatre company touring Mauritius, I stayed with them for around three months, and from then I never stopped.”

In the same year, 1978, Foucault-Larche made his debut on Mauritian television singing the Edith Piaf classic J’attendrais. Less than a year later, he co-produced his first stage show.

A decade later he relocated to Australia, carving out an award-winning career performing in theatre and the club circuit, producing shows and recording albums.

In recent years, Foucault-Larche’s journey has come full circle, focusing on French operettas and French popular music.

He and Parisian-born chanteuse Corinne Andrew bring Paris After Dark, their celebration of French popular music, to the Potato Shed this month as part of the International Week of Francophonie, a worldwide celebration of French language and culture.

The show evokes the romantic spirit of the City of Lights, featuring the music of French giants such as Edith Piaf, Charles Aznavour, Gilbert Bécaud and Dalida, as well as selections of music theatre, French opera and French adaptations of Italian and Spanish songs.

Foucault-Larche said in putting the show together he and Andrew were careful to find a balance between languages.

“It’s very important to us, to deliver the show in French and in English, because while some people might like the French music they might not want to sit for an hour and a half listening to just French,” he said.

“Some of the songs are all in French or all in English, and a lot are done half and half, so people can relate to what we deliver.”

Paris After Dark is at the Potato Shed on Friday, March 15.